gmoney launched his first product from 9dcc, a crypto-native luxury house and lifestyle platform, on August 23rd of 2022. Less than a year and three successful collections later, gmoney is leading by example, showing the fashion industry a new model of a consumer-centric brand using Web3 tech to gamify user experiences. But what does that exactly entail?
Last month gmoney and his team took the city of New York by storm when they launched ITERATION-03, the 9dcc Baseball Cap, alongside a “treasure hunt” activation, which attracted thousands of fans who lined up around the block to claim a limited number of free 9dcc baseball caps at a bodega in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Attendees were encouraged to go on a “treasure hunt” to collect pins across various locations in New York City, hand-selected by gmoney as his favourite landmarks. Each stop required participants to check in at the location and receive a commemorative POAP (free “Proof of Attendance Protocol” NFT) and custom pins designed in collaboration with Snuffy. Participants could then win prizes from a prize pool, including rare and valuable NFTs. And all of this was made available to attendees totally for free. So how does this business model work?
I sat down with gmoney the day before ITERATION-03 went live and he shared some thoughts about his process and how he’s navigated his success in the Web3 space. It’s fascinating to delve into his thought process on his value creation > value extraction operating model, which has worked quite well for him.
“When I look at this drop in particular, or Admit One, I wanted to create something where at the end of the day, nobody can complain that I extracted value if I give this away for free,” he says. “Once it’s out there in the free market, I can’t control the price of it. The market controls the price of it. But what I know, at the very least, I know people that minted, and one of the stats that I’m super happy about is that we still have somewhere around 65% of people that minted [Admit One] for free and are still part of the community, which means that they see the value. And I don’t like talking about the price because if you only focus on price, the price doesn’t go up forever, right? Price goes up and down. And so my only thing is I want to build a solid community that people want to be a part of. If I can get people into the community with a free hat, a high-quality hat that I love wearing—if I can get people into the community, they can say, ‘Wow, this was a great experience’. Then they go down that rabbit hole however deep in the community they want to be.”
gmoney’s sentiment around this is not new. At a Bitcoin Miami conference, he began gifting free POAPs (tokens proving people met him in person) in June 2021. gmoney’s Admit One community, which he mentioned, was, thus far, the most successful use case of his “value creation” model. He gifted 1000 Admit One passes to people who had collected his POAP and some hand-selected tastemakers. These passes then began trading on the secondary market for higher and higher prices—at this point, having traded over 8,616 ETH (~$16,380,911.52 USD) on the secondary market with a 10% creator fee going back to gmoney.
While some of the first iterations of 9dcc products were made available for sale and are still available for resale on their dedicated marketplace, ITERATION-03 was presented as another complementary claim for the community to build up along with gmoney in tandem. While folks could claim their physical hat in person if they were one of the first 1,600 people who attended the event as part of the 9dcc web3 ecosystem, recipients would need to tap the NFC chip in their hat to claim their NFT and “socialise” their product. According to 9dcc, “Every physical hat is embedded with Networked ProductTM technology by the team at 9dcc.” This means that once people were lined up to claim their free hat—they could “socialise” their new accessory by tapping on the monochromatic embroidered “9” on the back right to interact with the 9dcc ecosystem, including gamification and personalised POAPs. Community members immediately began tapping each other’s hats, claiming each other’s POAPs, and gaining points on a leaderboard, all within the 9dcc ecosystem.
As an example of how these points are being used—recently, gmoney and 9dcc purchased the business verification check mark on Twitter. Verified organisations can extend a blue check and the logo placement to brand affiliates. In a tweet, gmoney announced that the Top 25 members on the 9dcc Network Points Leaderboard were to be given the opportunity to get the affiliate badge for free from 9dcc. This is just one step in an extensive plan to develop 9dcc into a luxury brand beyond the constraints of traditional fashion brands.
gmoney continues: “I think we’re just scratching the surface. The gamification can go so far that there’s something for your trips and something for your home—that, to me, is the goal. That’s the ultimate gamification. We call 9dcc a lifestyle brand, not a fashion brand, because my goal is to ultimately penetrate multiple industries. I think luxury exists in a ton of different realms. And I think the stuff that we’re doing at 9dcc has a possibility of becoming almost a case study of how brands can enter the space and gamify their system without financialising it.”
And it’s safe to say that brands are watching closely. After gmoney successfully collaborated with Adidas on their ‘into the metaverse’ drop (which to this day is one of the most commercially successful brand-driven NFT projects), sold Visa their first CryptoPunk, and advised numerous others on their entrances into the Web3 space—he is very much regarded as one of the most renowned thought leaders evangelising Web3 as it permeates the cultural zeitgeist. Despite his position of opportunity, gmoney still prioritises accessibility above all else—hence offering ITERATION-03 in New York, Admit One, his POAPs, and so much more for free to the community. However, when it comes to accessibility, his intentions go beyond simply making products ‘free.’ He wants to make sure his community is diverse in every sense of the word.
“When we built the allow list for Admit One, I went out of my way to make sure we got minorities, women, and non-binary people into the community. The same goes for 9dcc—all of our products are unisex, but one of the reasons I wanted to create a hat was that it’s something that everybody can wear.”
This drop was a massive success, trending on Twitter during its activation. Thousands of community members lined up for the chance to claim a hat, and hundreds went through the entire three-day-long curated experience prepared by gmoney and the 9dcc team, winning abundant prizes. For a man who only revealed his identity within the past year, previously best known as the “cryptopunk ape in the orange beanie,” gmoney has done an incredible job at rapidly establishing himself and his brands at the intersection of culture and luxury goods. And it seems it’s only the beginning to where 9dcc will take us next on its journey into the future of gamified customer experiences.